Welcome to the Cheung Group

(Left to right) Millad Ghane, Jacob Tinnin, Hoa Trinh, Dr. Margaret Cheung, Andrei Gasic, Fabio Zegarra, Yossi Eliaz, Jake Ezerski

Theoretical Biological Physics and Computational Materials Science

Our research focuses on the field of theoretical biological physics and computational materials science. One of the projects is to understand the physical principles of macromolecules and to investigate how their molecular behavior inside a cell collectively amounts to specific functions at a subcellular level. Macromolecules and cytosolic scaffolds crowd the interior of a cell. Their intriguing interactions form robust networks of smart matter that is capable of making collective decisions for cellular survival. It is our long-term research goal to understand how the fidelity of information, built from macromolecules, travels across a noisy environment in a cell. The challenge of understanding them lies in the complexity of the systems where the experimental measurements available for quantitative modeling is scarce.

My group has been developing multiphysics models of proteins for computer simulations in cell-like environments. It is our aim to understand the outcome of several competing factors, such as macromolecular crowding effects and electrostatics, that impact the dynamics of proteins based on a statistical mechanical framework. The potential outcome of our research will provide a molecular insight into far-reaching intervention of cellular malfunction that causes other diseases. Through research the members from my group will be trained as computational physicists who develop computational algorithms and strategies for heterogeneous high-performance computing in order to advance the efficiency of computer programs. Another essential aspect of my research involves computational design of organic photovoltaic materials for better quantum efficiency under ambient conditions. My group also participates in collaborative research projects that require a multidisciplinary approach at the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University.

Several research positions for graduate students are available.

Link: Prospective graduate students